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Rogue landlords face £30,000 fines in latest clampdown

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Unscrupulous landlords who profit through benefit claims but exploit vulnerable residents face fines of up to £30,000 as part of the latest government clampdown on the sector.

The government has launched a £20m fund allowing councils to “step up” inspections for supported housing.

It said it wants to end “once and for all” the practice of rogue landlords exploiting the supported housing system at the expense of vulnerable residents.

This is because they profit through benefit claims but fail to support vulnerable residents who may have experienced homelessness, mental health issues or domestic abuse.

The funding will allow councils to carry out more thorough inspections of accommodation as well as “enhanced scrutiny of Housing Benefit claims to ensure they are reasonable”.

It will also help provide support to residents including supervision, advice, or help with life skills, to allow tenants to live independently in the community.

Poor performing landlords will need to improve and provide better accommodation and support or face enforcement action, including penalty charge notices of up to £30,000, prohibition orders on the most dangerous properties or even prosecution.

‘Appalling activity’

Housing secretary Michael Gove, said: “Time’s up for rogue landlords who take money from the taxpayer while exploiting vulnerable people.

“We are stepping in to help councils crack down on this appalling activity and I will be working closely with Bob Blackman MP on his Private Members’ Bill to deliver tough new laws to end this practice once and for all.”

The announcement comes ahead of the second reading of Bob Blackman’s Private Members Bill on 18 November which seeks to address poor-quality supported housing.

Earlier this year, the government said landlords providing substandard social accommodation will be named and shamed on its social media channels.

Last winter, it launched a campaign to help local authorities tackle landlords who are renting out cold and draughty rented properties.